Q:

Can light bend?

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Quick Answer

Yes, light can bend through diffraction and refraction. Diffraction is when light bends around a corner or a small opening and fills the larger space beyond it. Refraction is the bending of light when it transitions through different mediums, such as light seen in the air and entering into water.

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Can light bend?
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Full Answer

Light travels at different speeds through different mediums, which causes refraction. When light passes from one medium to another, it slows down or speeds up. This causes the light to bend. Refraction is responsible for image formation in eyes and in cameras. Rainbows are also a result of refraction, where blue light is refracted more than red light.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

    A:

    The difference between reflection and refraction is that in reflection waves bounce off of a surface while in refraction those waves do not bounce back but pass through the surface, which bends them and changes the speed of the waves. The image of a face is reflected back from a pool of water, but the light on the bottom of the pool of water is refracted because it is uneven and hazy due to the way the water bends the light waves.

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  • Q:

    What is the index of refraction?

    A:

    The index of refraction of any material is the speed of light in a vacuum divided by the speed divided by the speed of light in the medium. It is denoted with the letter "n."

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    Why do lights appear to flicker from a distance?

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    The flickering or twinkling effect of lights when observed from a distance is caused by anomalous refraction as light passes through air, schlieren, where temperatures and densities vary. The technical term for this phenomenon is called "scintillation," and it refers to the rapid changes in the position and color of a distant object.

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  • Q:

    What is flint glass?

    A:

    Flint glass is an optical glass that has a very high index of refraction and a low Abbe number. Flint glass contains lead which gives the optical glass some of its properties.

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